The Øresund link is is a wonder of civil engineering composed by a bridge, a tunnel and an artificial island. The amazing structure was constructed with the purpose to connect the Danish capital of Copenhagen to the Swedish city of Malmö.
Stretching about 8 km, the Øresund or Öresund Bridge is considered the longest border crossing bridge in the world, but due to the Schengen Agreement, there are no passport controls. It is estimated that it has a weight of 82.000 tons and is held up by concrete structures installed at every 140 meters. The height of the highest pillar is 204 meters (669 ft). With its two levels, one for the motorway and one for the railway, the bridge carries more than 6 million cars every year (although officials of the two countries claim the figures are even higher).
“Øresund Bridge – Øresund crop” by Soerfm – Own work, [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons
The Øresund Bridge. Photo by Hajotthu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The bridge ends in the middle of Øresund strait on the Peberholm island constructed from material dredged from the seabed to have a crossover point between the tunnel and the bridge. Today the island also has a biological value: as of June 2007, scientists from the Biological Society of Lund had registered 454 species of plants on it.
The tunnel is about 4 km long, with the undersea part measuring 3.5 kilometers (2.1 miles), while each entry adds another 270 meters. There were two main reasons for which the tunnel was constructed: to prevent the bridge height to interfere with obstacle-free zones around Copenhagen Airport and to provide an opportunity for large ships to pass the Oresund strait without worrying about the height of the bridge.
The Øresund link was designed by the Danish architect George K.S. Rotne, and was opened on July 1, 2000 after taking 5 years of construction work. It usually serves around 17,000 vehicles a day.
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